Man who wrote Richard Pryor’s jokes dies at 82
By Victor O.
Reports are confirming that comedy writer David Banks, who was best known for his work with Richard Pryor, has died in California at the age of David-Banks 82.
Banks, who was also said to be a manager, an actor, a music producer and promotion man, died at a hospital in San Fernando Valley, Southern California on Feb. 21. The cause of his death given was heart failure.
Before his eventual demise, Banks was said to have experienced a mild heart attack in 2013. But he was able to pull through that incident, which occurred a few days before he turned 81.
Banks was born in Jackson, Mississippi in June of 1932, but had lived in Los Angeles, California since the early 1970s. He served in the Air Force after graduating from high school and went on to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of California, Berkley.
The respected comedy writer is said to have been involved the business of entertainment from the time he was a teenager. Banks became an executive in the music industry soon after finishing college, going on to work with several entertainment companies. These companies included Warner Bros. Records and Columbia Records.
Banks is arguably most renowned for his work with Pryor. He produced some of the highly-influential and controversial comedian’s multiple platinum albums. The comedy writer is credited with having created the title of Pryor’s documentary on Showtime – “Omit the Logic.”
One of Pryor’s comedy albums that Banks produced was the “Bicentennial N*gger,” which was released by Warner Bros. Records in September of 1976 on a cassette tape. The CD version was released in June of 1989. The album was so well-received that it was announced the winner of the Best Comedy Album honor at the 1977 Grammy Awards.
In addition to doing comedy writing for Pryor, Banks was said to have consulted for other known comedians, including Eddie Griffin, Mike Epps and Chris Tucker. He also produced for Sly & the Family Stone, The Bee Gees and Lenny Williams.
Many people will certainly miss Banks’ passion and love for making other people smile. His passing has created a void that will be felt for a while, especially among those close to him.
When releasing his obituary, Banks’ family promised to announce a public memorial service shortly.